The Boys in the Band is a 2020 American drama film directed by Joe Mantello, based on the 1968 play of the same name by Mart Crowley, who also wrote the screenplay alongside Ned Martel. Crowley had previously adapted The Boys in the Band for a 1970 film version directed by William Friedkin and starring the original 1968 Off-Broadway cast. The film stars the full roster of players from the play's 2018 Broadway revival, comprising a cast of exclusively openly gay actors, such as Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Robin de Jesús, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, and Tuc Watkins.
The film was released on September 30, 2020, by Netflix, and received generally positive reviews from critics.
In 1968, Michael arrives at his apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in preparation for Harold's birthday party. Michael receives a call from his friend Donald, who will be arriving early due to a canceled psychiatrist appointment. When Donald arrives, Michael pities his aging and debt-riddled lifestyle. Alan, Michael's old roommate from Georgetown, calls Michael in tears saying he has something urgent to tell Michael in person. Michael invites Alan to the party and warns all his guests that Alan is heterosexual and doesn't know about Michael's homosexuality.
As the sun sets, Emory arrives with lovers Hank and Larry, whose relationship is on the rocks. Bernard arrives with a stack of books for Donald before he too settles into the party atmosphere. Alan calls Michael from a phone booth, informing him that he isn't coming to the party after all and will instead meet Michael the following day for lunch. Larry and Bernard dance to "Heat Wave" as Emory and Michael join in. Despite his earlier conversation with Michael, Alan arrives at the party and finds Michael and his friends dancing. He bonds with Hank, who he mistakes as being straight, and shows discomfort towards Emory's flamboyant behavior. Michael takes Alan to his bedroom to discuss Alan's urgent conversation, but Alan dodges his questions.
Cowboy arrives earlier than Emory expected and mistakes Michael for Harold, kissing him on the lips. Alan descends from the upstairs bathroom and announces he's leaving. Emory chides him for being a closeted homosexual which results in Alan punching Emory and calling him a "faggot." Harold arrives high on marijuana and accepts Cowboy's gift of a passionate kiss. Michael begins to drink and smoke despite having quit 5 weeks prior. He and Harold trade vicious insults as Hank helps a vomiting Alan in Michael's bathroom. Emory brings out Harold's birthday cake and presents. After opening them on the terrace, a thunderstorm forces everyone inside.